My birthday tradition: A year-end review of good things I’ve done and learned

Categories: Your life


birthday-cake.jpgToday is my birthday.

I’ve not been a huge fan of my birthday for a long time and I’m not sure it’s an age thing. (I won’t tell you how old I am but through a few Google searches I am sure you can figure it out if you must.) I just don’t like how fast time is flying and my birthday is always a harsh reminder of that.

A few years ago I had a free day before my birthday — no work, no business to run, just me with lots of time to walk around, drink overpriced lattes, and hang out in Barnes and Noble — and I decided to create a list of all the things I’d learned/done/figured out during the past year. I like lists, as you may have noticed, and I really liked doing this. As I was about to do it this year again, I came across this post over at one of the blogs I read frequently. Apparently smart career coaches think that doing an end-of-year review is a good idea, so I am in great company.

I’m going to share some of my list with you here, with no other purpose but to encourage you to do this for yourself. We spend a lot of time making plans and goals, but sometimes we need to take a time-out and think about all the things we have accomplished/learned/done. So here are some of mine for this past year of my life:

  • I’ve met some amazing, smart, successful, gutsy, warm women and for the first time, I am enjoying working with women. This might sound nutty, but I’ve always worked in male-dominated fields and never had great mentors or colleagues who were women.
  • I’ve begun to eat healthier — more fiber, a greater variety of veggies, more water. This was a goal for this year and I’m psyched that I seem to be on my way.
  • I moved with my family to a new city and have managed to (mostly) keep it together. (OK, husband, I did say mostly!)
  • I’ve learned about web design, web development, and digital media — and realized that I love it all. No, I couldn’t write a string of code, but I love creating something from scratch that is appealing, useful, and welcoming. (Now is not a good time to tell me about some bug you found on OK, joking, please tell me.)
  • I’ve realized that as much as I love to write, I also love to talk and meeting people and talking to people has to be an integral part of any career or any job I ever have. This seemed obvious to people who knew me, but now I’ve really understood it as well.

I won’t bore you with a longer list but I hope this can inspire you to do your own end-of-year-review, either on your birthday or as we get closer to the new year. My bet is that as a busy working mom you rarely stop to give yourself any kind of credit for all the awesome things you do — I’m as guilty of this as anyone and it feels good to pat myself on the back:)

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11 comments so far...

    bad voice..won’t continue.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

    momof2lovelies  |  December 29th, 2007 at 12:26 pm

  • What a GREAT list! And happy birthday! You’ve inspired me to make my own list.

    Flea  |  December 29th, 2007 at 1:41 pm

  • Happy Birthday, Nataly! It’s such a great idea to take inventory of the things yuo’ve done as wella s the things you want to do. Thank you sharing this — what an inspiration!

    Lylah  |  December 29th, 2007 at 2:45 pm

  • Wow, I had never thought of looking back and giving myself credit. I guess I’ve done some comparing of what I wanted to do vs. what I have done but not written it down and looked. Thanks for the great idea. Oh, and happy birthday! For someone so young (ok, I googled you since you said it was ok!) you’ve accomplished so much and have so much more to look forward to. Cheers!

    Mandy  |  December 29th, 2007 at 3:56 pm

  • Happy, happy birthday!!! Kudos for eating more grains and veggies, this is so important for your health (and we love WorkitMom, so we want you around for a long, long time!) I agree that a year-end review can be a reality check, especially for those of us with all-or-nothing thinking that can be a drain from day-to-day.
    *Thank you* for creating this site. I can’t even remember now how I got introduced to it, but I’m loving, loving, loving it!!

    Relaxnsmile  |  December 29th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

  • Great post, Nataly. Happy birthday and congrats on your list of auspicious accomplishments! On my to-do list for tomorrow — my own list of accomplishments and goals. You’ve definitely inspired me. Thanks!

    Amy S.  |  December 29th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

  • Happy birthday, Nataly! Sounds like it’s been a great year. :)

    Mir  |  December 29th, 2007 at 8:14 pm

  • what a great idea! i do this from a career perspective every year (because well i donno, i am obsessed with keeping my resume updated?) but never have morphed it over into the rest of my life!! i want to do this… i think i might have a long list this year! plus i think it helps really break out the details of things i want to accomplish in the coming year!

    for example i *just* realized that when you are only electronically organized, this doesn’t mean you are done! HA! So now one of my 2008 goals is to be ORGANIZED in life in general – like my closets, and kids toys – this allow will allow me to give back and be green by recycling and donating! All around good stuff :)


    kate  |  December 29th, 2007 at 10:07 pm

  • Happy birthday Nataly! I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t go up to you and introduce myself at BlogHer but there’s always next year!

    Here’s to another year filled with successes for you!


    mom2amara  |  December 31st, 2007 at 9:35 am

  • Thank you for the warm wishes!!!
    And I am glad I could inspire what I find to be a really great exercise!
    Happy New Year!

    Nataly  |  January 1st, 2008 at 4:19 pm

  • [...] Resolutions on New Year’s Eve and began writing them on my birthday instead. (Sound familiar? Nataly does something similar on her birthday. Could this introspection be a key to success as a working mother? I’d like to think [...]

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